Hong Kong Receives Its First-Ever Spot Bitcoin ETF Application Amid Increased US Interest

By Aaron Feuerstein January 30, 2024 In Bitcoin, ETF, Hong Kong
Source: Adobe Stock
  • A Hong Kong company has submitted the first application for a Bitcoin spot ETF to the local Securities and Futures Commission with plans for expedited approval and listing after the Chinese New Year.
  • This move has garnered significant interest from Hong Kong family office investment managers, despite expectations of lower subscription volumes compared to the US.
  • In the US, the newly introduced Spot Bitcoin ETFs are gaining traction, and investors see these ETFs as a convenient alternative for long-term hodling, despite the self-custody trade-off.

Hong Kong SFC Receives First Application

According to Tencent News, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has received an application for a Spot Bitcoin ETF – a first for the financial hub.

“Harvest Fund’s Hong Kong company submitted an application for a Bitcoin spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to the Hong Kong SFC” the exclusive report read.

According to sources the SFC is going to speed up the approval process with plans to list after the Chinese New Year, which is on Saturday 10 February 2024.

The SFC appears to be fast-tracking Spot Bitcoin ETF applications in the wake of the approval of several ETFs by its counterpart in the US. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) only approved US Spot Bitcoin ETFs on January 11. The markets initially reacted with a decline in Bitcoin price but have recently picked up again and BTC has now shot past the USD $43k (AUD $45.5k) mark.


Hong Kong family office investment managers expressed strong interest in the newly proposed Hong Kong Bitcoin spot ETFs, according to Tencent News. They had previously avoided direct Bitcoin market involvement due to investment limitations and operational challenges.

However, they anticipate that the subscription volume for these Hong Kong ETFs might be lower than those in the US. Additionally, it was revealed that unlike US spot ETFs, Hong Kong’s ETFs might offer subscriptions in fiat currency and possibly allow for direct Bitcoin investments.

CoinTelegraph had reported earlier that at least 10 asset managers are pursuing the launch of such ETFs in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile in the United States

Over in the US interest for the Spot ETFs, which are just two weeks old, is gaining momentum. BlackRock and Fidelity are now owning a reported 98k Bitcoins, worth a staggering USD $4bn (AUD $6bn).  

Investor and Bitcoin proponent Joe Carlasare highlighted another important point about the ETFs – they now provide long-term HODLers another avenue of exposure to BTC. Yes, not your keys not your coins, but some seem quite happy with this.

Carlasare reports that he is aware of an investor with a large holding of Bitcoin who is selling 3/4 of their BTC to buy into the newly created Spot Bitcoin ETFs – and that investor is not only aware of the self-custody issue but is making the sale because of it.

His justification was that it’s just way fewer headaches for him and his family to have it at the ETF.

Joe Carlasare

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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